Women financial empowerment a tool against poverty – leaders

Ms Agnes Kataama, board member Microfinance Support Centre addresses Catholic women at St Nicholas Hall Bujumbura in Hoima City. (Image: Gad Asaba)

Empowering women in financial management has been identified as one of the avenues of relatively staving off poverty and bridging the inequality gap among families in Uganda.

Dr Emmanuel Kiiza Alibankooha, the Chairman Microfinance Support Centre (MSC), observes that women’s active participation in economic activities can thrust a family’s financial status to a higher level.

He notes that women’s overdependence on men keeps the family in a vicious circle of poverty as the entire family looks forward to only one breadwinner, a situation he says is detrimental to a family’s wellbeing for posterity.

The chairman says in order to engage women in financial inclusion strategies, the MSC is imparting financial skills into women under Hoima Diocese Catholic Apostolate (HOICWA) in a conference that began on August 24 and ends on 26, 2022.

“There is no way we can fight poverty in Uganda without fighting poverty out of women. When a woman is rich, the family becomes very strong. We have to fight hard so that we can change the standard of living in Hoima Catholic Diocese and Uganda at large,” Dr Alibankooha says.

Ms Diana Ndagire Ntamu, the Board member MSC, notes that women are susceptible to poverty since majority are marginalised in involving in economic activities.

Having realised that, Ms Ntamu says the Uganda Microfinance Support Centre is skilling women under HOICWA how to engage in income generating projects after organising themselves in a Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO).

In the ongoing skilling conference at St Nicholas Hall in Bujumbura at the seat of Hoima Catholic Diocese in Hoima city, women are being trained how to manage finances so they can ably borrow money and invest money into income generating projects so they can develop themselves and their families for improved standards of living.

aMs Diiana Ndagire Ntamu, the Microfinance Support Centre Board member and Hoima City Mayor, Mr Brian Kaboyo during a Hoima Catholic women annual conference at St Nicholas Hall in Bujumbura, Hoima City. (Image: Gad Asaba)

“If we are to fight poverty, we need to start with women and to teach women to adopt a money saving culture. Women should remain committed to saving money in SACCO and be patient on their saved money; not to borrow in two months after starting saving it there and make sure that they borrow with a reason of starting up a business where they can earn a living,” she advises.

Ms Sylvia Nalumaga, the Deputy Mayor Hoima City, says it is the mandate of the city council authorities to support women development through any projects that earn them income.

“When people are rich, it becomes easier for leaders to lead them. When people are poor, it becomes harder to lead them. Women are always behind information. Therefore, I appeal to all women to always be informed so that they can benefit from all government developmental projects.” The politician says.

Ms Mary Kyaterekere, the Chairperson Hoima Diocese Catholic Diocese Women SACCO, says sometimes women are left behind in government projects because some of them feel that they are for the scholarly privileged.

“We need serious sensitisation especially for women because we have been left out in very many government projects since we are slow at getting information. We want government to start up projects mainly targeting women. Women leaders should try to sensitise and mobilise women to form SACCOs at village levels so that they can start from there to develop themselves.”

The training entails HOICWA annual conference involving various activities like an exhibition and the Diocesan Women’s Day celebrations among others.

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